If you’re between the ages of 17 and 25, chances are you’ve at least thought about wisdom teeth removal in Mesa. Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, typically start to erupt in the mid to late teenage years or early twenties. But they can actually keep growing well into your late twenties.
In most cases, wisdom teeth need to be removed to prevent dental problems down the line. Let’s explore common reasons for wisdom teeth extraction and what you can expect from the process.
Common Reasons to Extract Wisdom Teeth
Overcrowding: The average human mouth is big enough to accommodate about 28 teeth. When four extra teeth try to push through, they can cause overcrowding, leading to misalignment and pain. Wisdom teeth can also cause existing teeth to shift, resulting in bite issues. If a wisdom tooth doesn’t have enough space to erupt properly, it can press on neighboring teeth and contribute to shifting and changes in your bite.
Impacted Teeth: When wisdom teeth can’t fully erupt through the gums, they become impacted. Impacted teeth can lead to infections, gum disease, and even cysts. Some of these infections can also damage the tooth that’s next to your wisdom teeth. Removing third molars early can prevent these complications.
Cavities or Decay: Wisdom teeth are harder to reach and clean than other teeth. As a result, they’re more prone to decay and cavities. If left untreated, this decay can spread to other teeth, causing further damage. Decay is especially problematic when wisdom teeth are only partially-erupted, allowing food and bacteria to become trapped in hard-to-reach areas of the tooth.
Pain, Infection, and Inflammation: Sometimes, wisdom teeth can cause pain and swelling in the gums. This discomfort can be due to a number of factors, including infection, impaction, or overcrowding. When plaque accumulates around partially-erupted wisdom teeth, those areas typically begin to develop gingivitis and then gum disease, which can affect neighboring teeth. The constant inflammation and pain won’t go away on its own, so the only thing left to do is remove the source of discomfort.
Orthodontic Treatment: If you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, your dentist may recommend wisdom teeth removal to prevent them from interfering with the alignment of your teeth. Especially if you’re getting close to completing the end of your braces or aligners experience.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
If it’s determined that extraction is necessary, Dr. Huynh will explain the process and answer any questions you may have. Before the procedure, you’ll be given local anesthesia to numb the area around your teeth. If you’re particularly anxious or nervous about the procedure, you may also be given sedation to help you relax.
Once your mouth is completely numb, Dr. Huynh will make a small incision in the gum tissue to expose the tooth. If the tooth is impacted, he may need to remove it in smaller pieces to make the process easier. We’ll also show you how to care for the area so that you can ensure a speedy recovery.
After Wisdom Tooth Removal
Aftercare is an essential part of wisdom teeth removal to promote healing and prevent complications. Here are some tips for taking care of your mouth after wisdom teeth extraction:
- Bite down on gauze: Immediately following the procedure, bite down gently on gauze to help stop bleeding. Change the gauze every 20-45 minutes as needed.
- Use ice packs: Apply cold compresses to your cheeks for 10-20 minutes at a time to help reduce swelling. Do this on and off for the first day.
- Rest and avoid strenuous activity: Take it easy for the first 24 hours after surgery and avoid any strenuous activity for at least a couple of days.
- Take medication as directed: Dr. Huynh may prescribe pain medication or antibiotics to help manage discomfort and prevent infection. Take these as directed.
- Stick to a soft diet: For the first few days after surgery, stick to a soft food diet and avoid anything too hot or too cold. Don’t eat anything hot, crunchy, or drink through a straw.
- Keep your mouth clean: Brush your teeth gently, being careful to avoid the extraction site. Rinse your mouth with salt water a few times a day to promote healing.
- Attend follow-up appointments: Dr. Huynh will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your healing and ensure that you’re on track for a full recovery.
By following these tips, you can promote a smooth and comfortable recovery after wisdom teeth extraction. If you have any questions or concerns about aftercare, don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Huynh or his team at Eastport Dental in Mesa, AZ.
Schedule Your Wisdom Tooth Consultation
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms or are simply curious about whether you need wisdom teeth extraction, it’s time to schedule a consultation. During your appointment, Dr. Huynh will perform a comprehensive exam and take X-rays to determine the state of your wisdom teeth or help you monitor them over the next few years as needed.